Ryanair celebrated 15 years of operations at Alicante-Elche Miguel Hernández Airport by announcing a “record” winter schedule that includes four new routes, to Fez, Helsinki, Frankfurt and Lodz. The low-cost airline company also confirmed that Leeds Bradford Airport would be one of its key bases this winter, offering 15 routes to destinations including Alicante.
“As the number one airline for Europe and Spain,” said Elena Cabrera, country manager for Spain and Portugal, “Ryanair is delighted to celebrate the 15th anniversary of its operations and its base in Alicante, having carried more than 45 million passengers to date. With seven based aircraft, a $700 million investment and more than 210 well-paid pilot and cabin crew jobs, Ryanair continues to deliver more traffic, more growth and lower fares than any other airline in Alicante. This winter, we offer more than 460 weekly flights on 64 routes, including four such interesting destinations as Fez, Helsinki, Frankfurt Hahn and Lodz.”
Added Laura Navarro, director of Alicante-Elche Miguel Hernández Airport, “The 64 routes offered by Ryanair for the winter season are excellent news for all our passengers and an increase in the flight offer compared to 2019, before the pandemic. This confirms that the airline’s commitment in 2007, 15 years ago, to the Alicante airport was a wise decision and that the Costa Blanca is a highly attractive destination.”
Announcing the new Leeds Bradford winter schedule, head of communications Jade Kirwan said, “Over 100 weekly flights will give Leeds and Bradford citizens an abundance of choice when booking their next city break or winter sun getaway. This winter Ryanair is offering its UK customers lower fares and more certainty with their travel plans, as it operates a full schedule of over 3,000 daily flights with many new routes and unbeatable value for our customers and their families.”
Christmas Gift Cards
Ryanair is also now offering its annual gift cards, which start from €25 and are available as either a digital card sent straight to a customer’s inbox or, “for those looking for something extra special”, a physical card with an inscribed personal message and delivered to their front door.
“With Christmas just around the corner,” said director of marketing, communications and digital Dara Brady, “Ryanair’s new physical gift cards have landed right on time (as Ryanair always does), making for the perfect gift for friends and family planning to getaway in the new year – or at least 75 per cent of people surveyed would say. Spend Stephen’s Day deciding where to take your next trip from a choice of over 225 destinations across 36 countries on Ryanair’s unbeatable low-fare network.”
Buoyant British and Nordic Markets
Meanwhile, during the World Travel Market in London, provincial parliament and tourism board president Carlos Mazón reported that 6,000 aircraft, with a total of more than one million available seats, would be operating between UK airports and Alicante-Elche Miguel Hernández Airport over winter.
“We have good prospects for the coming months, despite the current economic and political uncertainty in the United Kingdom. It is time to highlight why British tourists should have confidence in the Costa Blanca destination and show them that we are a safe bet for their holiday getaways”.
Mazón noted that, of all Spanish mainland destinations, Alicante offered the highest number of flights from the United Kingdom: 55 routes operated by eight companies this winter. He also pointed out that “not only do they choose us as a holiday destination, but also as a strategic enclave for second homes and residences”. Alicante, he said, had the highest number of British residents – more than 74,000 officially registered – of any province in Spain.
Earlier this autumn, the tourism board also focused its attention on the Nordic countries, noting that the number of visitors from Finland and Iceland, for example, had grown significantly post-pandemic.
This winter, there will be 246 flights linking Alicante-Elche Miguel Hernández Airport with Helsinki (operated by Finnair, Norwegian and Ryanair) and 59 between Alicante and Reykjavik (Icelandair and Fly Play).
New Sensory Room and Improved Parking Facilities
In other news, airport operator Aena has announced that contracts have been called to build a sensory room for passengers with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). The room, which forms part of the airport’s Passenger Experience Quality Plan and will be located in an area close to the boarding area, is aimed at providing a safe and adequate environment that caters for the needs of travellers with ASD.
It will extend over an area of just under 100 square metres and have equipment designed to minimise the stress that airport processes can generate among passengers with ASD. To that end, it will offer tactile, luminous and audiovisual elements aimed at offering controlled stimuli and adapted to the sensory sensitivities of each person.
Aena has also put out to tender a €12 million project to improve car parking areas at Alicante-Elche Miguel Hernández Airport.